2019 Philippine Mountain Bike National Championships held in Rizal


The terrain of Rizal challenged over 200 mountain bike enthusiasts who competed at the 2019 Philippine Mountain Bike National Championships in early May for a chance to be part of the National team that will represent the country in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The two-day race event is the premiere mountain bike event in the country sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and included the Downhill Mountain Biking (DHI) and Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) categories.

Organized by 7-Eleven in partnership with National Federation of Cycling (PhilCycling), the Philippine Mountain Bike National Championships (PH MBNC) aims to promote mountain biking in the country and produce world-class racers who will represent the country in international UCI-sanctioned races.

“7-Eleven is one of the leading proponents for the sport of cycling here in the Philippines. It’s a sport that’s close to our heart. The collaboration with PhilCycling aimed at making the National Chamionships more accessible to Filipino cyclists. We are very happy for the turnout this year – at 252 registrants, it’s the biggest pool of registration so far and we are committed to improve on those numbers. Filipinos can excel in mountain biking -- we have talented cyclists and we have good topography for mountain bike courses. We can produce world champions, we only need to have a systematic approach,” says Victor Paterno, CEO and President of 7-Eleven Philippines, who himself is an avid and competitive mountain biker.

Braving the Rizal terrains, mountain bikers trailed a 2-km course down the mountains of Patiis, San Mateo for the DHI course. Meanwhile, the XCO race course consisted of a 5.5-km track that featured the toughest part of Timberland Heights. Winners of the Elite Category (Men and Women) will have the opportunity to be part of the National Team that will represent the country and compete in the upcoming SEA Games. They were also given 100 UCI points to be released in the international database, which will give cyclists a higher chance to qualify in the Olympics.

NiƱo Martin Eday was the UCI-DHI National Champion for Men’s Elite Category finishing with a record time of 2:34:785. “It has been a childhood dream of mine to join international competitions, and now that I have achieved it, I am really honored and proud to be given the chance to represent our country in the upcoming SEA Games,” the 26-year old biking champ from Iloilo City said.

Lea Denise Belgira, 22, from Guimaras, emerged as the UCI-DHI National Champion for Women’s Elite with a record of 3:21:996. “More than being focused on the training and practicing self-discipline, it is important to be passionate in whatever you want to do,” Belgira said happily in an interview.

Other winners in DHI Elite Men category include Eleazar Barba (0:02:35.781) and John Derick Farr (0:02:36.371), while Naomi Gardoce (0:03:28.566) and Marinela Puno (0:04:02.609) joined Belgira in the DHI Elite Women podium. For the XCO Elite Men category, EJ Flores finished first place with a record of 1:32:11, followed by Nino Surban (1:32:56) and Alvin Benosa (1:33:46). Meanwhile, Timberland Queen of the Mountain, Ariana Dormitorio, landed first in the XCO Women’s Elite category with a record of 1:26:39, followed by Avegail Rombaon (1:30:25) and Mellisa Jane Jaroda (1:38:20).

“Filipinos are strong contenders for mountain bike racing in the international scene. We’ve proven ourselves in the past. Through events like this and with the help of brands such as 7-Eleven, we will be able to hone more our cyclists’ talents. The best way to prepare them is to localize world-class level competition through National Championships,” Oscar Durano, Vice President of PhilCycling and Head of MTB Commission enthusiastically said.